Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy birthday, Sonny Rollins, and congratulations

Sonny Rollins and Clifton Anderson by John Whiting

Picture turning 81 (with a full head of hair) and learning on the same day that you've been recognized by the Kennedy Center for your contribution to culture.

The 2011 Kennedy Center Honorees, announced today, include Sonny Rollins, Yo-Yo Ma, Neil Diamond, Barbara Cook, and Meryl Streep.

John took this photo of Rollins with Clifton Anderson at the 50th Monterey Jazz Festival in 2007. It was our first year at Monterey with press credentials, and John's first time shooting Rollins. John was crouching at the side of the stage with his camera when Rollins saw him. Rather than frown or act annoyed, he turned toward John and started walking his way, blowing hard, playing to him. Being extraordinarily generous and enjoying it. John took so many pictures he filled up his SD card.

For the moment--I don't know how long it will be available--you can listen to Rollins' latest CD, Road Shows, Vol. 2, streaming in its entirety and as individual tracks at NPR.

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